by Pamela Palmer

#136, 10 August 2009

Which fiction and non-fiction books are winners on eBay? Each month this series answers the question and, along the way, looks at the listing strategies sellers use to bring in big bucks. To learn more about what's in and what's out of the lists, read our Top 10 on eBay Parameters.

NOTE: Items numbers are now included in this article. They are in the individual auction comments section below the author and title. Click the links to see the listings.

Reading tea leaves could be easier than extracting top 10 facts from the new eBay format. Is this listing an auction or fixed price? Dunno unless it has a BIN or shows the number of bids. How long was it listed? Dunno again. If the By the Numbers section in this article seems skimpy, eBay's changes are the reason. But by the time I gathered the July top 10, I'd learned to glean some details from the search results screen that are no longer in the listings themselves.

Fiction Top 10
June 2009

#1 tie $5,000.00 J.R., William Gaddis, Very Good Book
#1 tie $5,000.00 The Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis 1st/1st UK HBDJ RARE
#3 $4,550.00 The Screwtape Letters C.S.Lewis 1st/1st UK RARE COPY
#4 $1,975.00 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, original (1960)
#6 $1,250.00 Michael Jackson Biography SIGNED BY JACKSON & DRAWING
#7 $1,000.00 The Host by Stephenie Meyer (2008) SIGNED BY AUTHOR
#8 $930.00 Clive Cussler Vixen 03 ARC Proof Extreamly RARE
#9 $799.00 STEPHEN KING Danse Macabre #93/250 signed in slipcase
#10 $750.00 Anne Rice Roquelaure-BEAUTY TRILOGY 1st/1st F/F Signed

#1 tie
William Gaddis

Other than describing the 1975 book as in "very good" condition, the US seller included no details. Two of the author's later novels won National Book Awards. Looking at the listing after it closed, it's not possible to be sure the type of listing. Signs are, though, that this was a fixed price listing because no number of bids or BIN indicators are noted.

#1 tie
The Screwtape Letters
C.S. Lewis

The 1942 1st edition in good condition sold for $4,500 on June 12. Then what seems to be the same book, sold 12 days later for $5,000 to become #3 on the fiction list.

The Screwtape Letters
C.S. Lewis

The 1942 1st edition in good condition sold for $5,000 on June 24. What seems to be the same copy, sold 12 days earlier for $4,500 to come in at #2 on the fiction list.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

Sold as a BIN, the 1960 1st edition sold for $1,975. It was described as in acceptable condition and lacking a dust jacket.

Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand

Sold by a Canadian seller in a rather confusing listing, the copy of Atlas Shrugged was called a 2001 1st edition in the item specifics, but the next section of the listing shows that that title was first published in 1957.

Michael Jackson - Unauthorized
Christopher Andersen

Jackson's signature and "self-portrait drawing" added value to this book. It is described as a "very good slightly used copy."

The Host
Stephenie Meyer

Benefitting Project BookBabe, the 1st edition signed book sold for $1,000.

Vixen 03
ARC Proof
Clive Cussler

The ARC proof was called "extreamly rare" and in "very good condition for its age."

Danse Macabre
Stephen King

Signed by King, this is #93 of 250 in the limited edition. The volume is in a slipcase and was described as "an as new uncread ... copy."

Beauty Trilogy
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
Beauty's Punishment
Beauty's Release

A.N. Roquelaure
[pseud. of Anne Rice]

All volumes are 1st editions with the 1st 2 also 1st printings. The 3rd title is a 2nd printing. All 3, described as "in fine condition in fine dust jackets," were signed by the author.